Friday, June 2, 2017

New Indian photographic field guide.

Strangely enough I've never actually been to the Indian sub-continent and for no good reason either !  This book now justifies a reason to plan not one, but several, visits!

The title is a long one! " A Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh " by Grewal, Sen, Singh, Devasar and  Bhatia.  And for those of you whose minds immediately raise a query, yes, the Andaman Islands are covered too !

This book provides precisely what is "claimed on the tin" in the form of 4000 coloured photographs of high quality covering every distinct species  and sub-species in the specified area ( some 1375 in all ). A distribution map is provided for most of the species alongside brief details of Voice, Range and Habitat coupled with a succinct description of the bird itself.

The photographs! They're superb!  It would be difficult to make a Yellow-bellied Babbler look "sexy"  but page 498 presents a bird which creditably holds its own amongst a plethora of more colourful, resplendent individuals !  It would also  be wrong to select a favourite, in fact, it would be nigh on impossible given the selection available. Make your own choices!

At nearly 800 pages this is not, in my opinion,  a Field Guide for the field unless used judiciously.  In addition to weight, I doubt it would stand up to repeated "thumbings through" or inclement weather as the binding is a little bit flimsy. However, as a reference book at the end of the day it is an absolute essential for every trip For heavens sake don't forget to pack it !.

Published by Princeton University Press ( ISBN 978-0-691-17649-7 ) , but , in the UK, simply contact Wildsounds.  

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